Aleksandar Mitrovic was expected by many to be leaving Newcastle United this summer but the striker survived deadline day on Thursday.

Less than 48 hours later he is at it again for Serbia.

Whilst Rafa Benitez has shown little faith in his number 45 over the past 18 months at St James Park, Mitrovic has continued to be first choice for his country.

After a disastrous failed 2014 European Championships qualifying campaign, they desperately needed to bounce back in the group games for Russia 2018, with the Serbian football public far from happy with the standard of football and the in-fighting within the national squad.

Going into Saturday afternoon’s game with Moldova, Serbia were level on points with the Republic of Ireland and top of Group D only on goal difference.

Only the top team in each group automatically goes through, with the best eight runners-up in the nine European groups being drawn in play-offs with four winners of those games also qualifying for Russia next year.

Serbia have beaten Moldova 3-0 and once again, the Newcastle striker was on the scoresheet (watch the goal below), scoring in the 81st minute to complete the scoring and then subbed only a minute later.

Mitrovic has now scored eight goals in his last eight internationals, a remarkable record.

Today’s goal has been the perfect lift for Mitro, as he can’t play for Newcastle again until the home match against Liverpool on 1 October, due to his retrospective red card from the West Ham game.

Elsewhere today, the Republic of Ireland had Ciaran Clark playing the full game and Rob Elliot on the bench. They took an early lead in Georgia but ended the match with a disappointing draw.

Wales host Austria tonight and then on Tuesday it is the big one, Serbia travel to play the Republic of Ireland – a game that could decide the group winners.

Group D table now looks like this:

15 Serbia (GD +9) – Played 7

13 R. of Ireland (+4) – Played 7

8 Wales (+4) – Played 6

8 Austria (+1) – Played 6

4 Georgia (-4) – Played 7

2 Moldova (-14) – Played 7

  • Clarko

    Top player πŸ‘ŒπŸΏ

    • Scooter

      could be in the right team

      • Cuh

        He is a top player as we speak

        • Guest 2

          Top of the red card and suspension tables. Get a life, man

    • Guest 2

      Top [email protected] comments

  • Scooter

    The Serbs had 3 forwards playing we have 1, he`ll never make it as long as Rafa plays 4-2-3-1

    • Jimblag23

      Why..why…oh why have our last FOUR managers played the same boring system. 😴

      And let’s think πŸ’­
      The last time we had a front 3 we were near the top of the table, until Pardew reverted to sticking Cisse or Perez up top on his own.

      • Steve Smith

        It’s not the system that’s boring, it’s the players.

    • 1957

      They changed how they play after their failure to qualify for the Euros and it suits him

  • Mxpx

    Amazing what happens when you give him service

  • Cuh

    I remember when we sold Ba. Most fans were fairly confident CissΓ© was good enough, thanks to his half season run of goals.

    I hope we don’t lose mitrovic

  • anyobrien

    I like him just needs a run in the team and a partner up top with him.

  • 1957

    3 appearances this season and 3 goals, all different, with the right service and if he feels confident he can score goals. When he is free from suspension he needs a run in the team with IMO Jose Luis as a partner, but it won’t happen under Benitez.

    He succeeds for Serbia because they have adopted a much more attacking approach over the last couple of years, with Mitrovic up front and two players in close support.

    I’ve no doubt the Mitrovic is for sale campaign will continue into the next transfer window in the Chronicle and the Mag, unless of course as most expect we have a change of manager.

    • Pozz Mozz

      Sure we should get another manager just to play Mitro every week

      • 1957

        We will end up with a new manager because of the owners attitude not as a way to get Mitrovic a regular place

    • Cuh

      Joselu you mean

  • Monksaton Magpies

    if you score five goals in as many games for your country must have something good about you.will be a handful for most defences this season and will probably get a hundred goals for this country will be worth fifty million in a couple of years be a great player to bring on with half hour left if rafa puts him on instead of diame when we are one nil down

    • Guest 2

      No goals for this country as he’s not British. If he’s ever worth 50 mil I’ll come to Monkseaton and orally[pleasure you

  • Steve Pearce

    I think when he returns from his ban he will be a changed man and with Shelvey, Merino and Ritchie running the supply line with an ever improving Perez tucked behind him we will cause many teams problems. I think with the failure to land a striker in the window his time might just have come – and by the way – Rafa will stay put as where else will he be so adored?

    • Rob Brown

      So why do you think he will be a changed man this time, when he wasn’t when he came back from his last ban?

  • fatboysneverendingstory

    Mitro’s his own worst enemy. Why is it he can’t play at Swansea ?.

  • Rob Brown

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen a techno-hack try to justify how good a player is using a goal against Moldova!

  • East Durham Mag

    Great did he not chin somebody or is that reserved for playing for us?

    • Whitehurst

      No that privilege is all ours! Aren’t we the lucky ones?

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Donkovic hero of Serbia scores again,
    Next up Republic of Ireland where no doubt he’ll do Ciaran Clarke

  • Whitehurst

    Decent service….me thinks? 😑

  • Michael

    Sorry that was an own goal